This is the blog home of #kidlitart, a live Twitter chat Thursdays at 9:00 pm Eastern, for children's book illustrators, picture book authors, author/illustrators and friends. Check back weekly to read transcripts, comment on previous chats and suggest topics for upcoming chats.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Step 5!

We've arrived at tight pencils: creating (traditionally or digitally) the full-size sketches you'll use as templates for your finished art. We're devoting the biggest chunk of time in the #PBdummy schedule to this stage (eight weeks), because this is where you'll work out all your layout and composition issues, and because these will be the drawings that comprise your dummy--and sell the project.

No pressure!

By now you should be thoroughly familiar with your characters and have a sense of the flow and what needs to go on each spread. You may not have given much thought to the settings, yet. And you'll need to start grappling with the mechanics of the layout: text placement, margins, gutters and bleeds, oh, my!

So there's lots to cover, lots of drawing and second-guessing and general agonizing ahead. But lots of fun, too. You might find it helpful to browse your collection of favorite picture books, to remind yourself of the amazingly diverse art and design solutions used by successful illustrators.

Here are some other sources of inspiration:

Illustrating Children's Books: Creating Pictures for Publication, by Martin Salisbury

The Encyclopedia of Writing and Illustrating Children's Books: From creating characters to developing stories, a step-by-step guide to making magical picture books, by Desdemona McCannon, Sue Thornton and Yadzia Williams

Illustrating Children's Picture Books: Tutorials, Case Studies, Know-How, Inspiration, by Steve Withrow and Lesley Breen Withrow

Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration, by Dilys Evans

Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art, compiled by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

And three from the immortal Will Eisner:

Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative

Comics and Sequential Art

Expressive Anatomy for Comics and Narrative

Join us at #kidlitart Thursday, March 10, at 9 pm Eastern for a chat on refining your layouts: what are your biggest issues?

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